Tricky times in translation

It’s damned inconvenient when you want to read the introductory paragraph to your French course book and can’t without comprehensively translating the whole thing because you don’t understand the odd word or phrase that is rather necessary to knowing the overall meaning of the text. *le sigh*

I will be the first person to admit that I am a terrible French student. I’m a lucky cow in that I can speak it fairly well and *sound* like I’m possibly French but my reading comprehension is probably not equivalent to my having studied the language for something like 14 years (although frankly Yrs 5-8 are pretty much the same thing every year). I really kinda suck at sitting down and reading French texts and actually picking out the words I don’t know and making a conscious effort to learn them so that I can read the whole text without having to translate it fully.

I’m also probably getting awfully lazy at conjugating verbs since I have my beautiful verb table book (I do also have a Bescherelle book but since all the grammatical explanations are in french it’s less helpful). Why bother to remember which groups of verbs have a third person vowel change from “e” to “ie” in the present tense if my handy dandy verb book can point me right to the page I need instead? There can be such a thing as too many language books since I don’t necessarily need to retain all the vocab and verb knowledge if they’re so easily accessible on my bookshelf.

In the end I managed to translate both the introductory paragraph and the first paragraph of the first section. It took me a good chunk of my afternoon since I’m not quite up to maximum productivity yet *coughtwitteraddictcough* but I think I was able to get close the true meaning of some of the words and phrases that I didn’t previously know. Of course it doesn’t help in the slightest when one of the words which is exactly the same in French as it is in English and you still don’t know what it fucking means. Exhibit A.



I had to bust out both my bi-lingual *and* my English dictionary for this little bastard and I’m thoroughly sick of the word. I’d much rather say “…after the law, which reduced working hours, was brought into effect…” but I imagine that is going to make the French a bit more complicated hence the use of the word “promulgation” for succinctness.

Hopefully if I get myself ahead with reading the textbook and making copious notes of the words, phrases and grammar structures that I don’t know (even though I probably should know them by now) maybe by the time that Envol starts properly in October I won’t be feeling quite as much like a fraud who somehow fluked her way to a 90 on her TMAs and 70 on her EMA for L120.

I gotta lot of work to do though.

Ray x